CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University freshman Lindsay Joyner has been crowned International Champion in the “Hotel and Lodging” category of competition that pitted some 700 students at the Distributive Education Clubs of America — or DECA — International Career Development Conference in Washington, D.C.
DECA is an international organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges around the globe for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
The DECA competition presents students with a simulation, case-study or professional presentation in 24 different business categories. Depending on the event, students have 20-60 minutes to prepare and present before the judges who score the students on problem-solving capabilities.
Joyner demonstrated impressive critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving skills, and professionalism, according to judges.
“DECA has helped me in so many ways since becoming a member,” Joyner said. “I’ve learned a lot that has benefited me in the career world, and I know my interview preparedness is much stronger as a result of this incredible organization.”
Previously an active member of the high school chapter of DECA in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, Joyner sought out Southern Utah University’s collegiate chapter upon her arrival to campus in the fall of 2015. As a business major, Joyner is driven to succeed and has set high goals for her future education and career.
Brandon Armstrong, career coach and employment outreach coordinator, helps prepare students associated with the university’s chapter of DECA each year for the conferences and competitions. Armstrong said he sees the program as a great opportunity to practice on-the-spot thinking and troubleshooting.
“DECA is a wonderful platform for students to get experience in the business world and to be challenged,” Armstrong said. “It gives these students a unique opportunity to interact with professionals from specific industries and to apply the things taught in SUU classrooms.”
Joyner wasn’t alone at the DECA International Career Development Conference. In total, six students from Southern Utah University traveled to the nation’s capital, including:
- Austin Hanson — Accounting
- Gage Sims — Accounting
- Tyler Edgel — Accounting
- Jacob Lyman — Hotel and Lodging
- Lindsay Joyner — Hotel and Lodging
- Sara Tangren — Travel and Tourism
DECA is a nonprofit student organization that specializes in marketing, finance, hospitality and management with more than 200,000 members across the U.S. and several other countries around the world.
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